Bob Jones’s “Haiku Nature” on THF


Bob Jones’s instructive and accessible PhD dissertation “Haiku Nature”, most chapters of which were published over six years in Modern Haiku, is now available as a download from The Haiku Foundation’s Digital Library. It can be accessed at

You can also view some of Bob’s thoughts on karumi in haiku, reposted from the HaikuOz archives, in Haiku Musings.

Karumi – Bob Jones on lightness in haiku

The following thoughts first appeared on the HaikuOz website in 2001, originally posted by John Bird.

It comes as no surprise that when Janice Bostok visited Bob Jones, they spent a morning talking about haiku. Bob raised the subject of “karumi” and explained that karumi is the mood of lightness which informs much of Basho’s late-life poetry and that few western poets seem to have engaged it in their haiku. Bob gave this example of Basho’s karumi:

so cool
 the wall against my feet
 a noonday nap~

When editing submissions to FAHA (First Australian Haiku Anthology), Janice Bostok and I noted a leaning towards profundity, and we thought Bob’s comments might provide counterpoise. With the permission of all concerned, I quote from a letter Bob subsequently sent to Janice, and in which Bob returns to his theme. ……….. John Bird.

“A couple of important issues were raised that we didn’t have enough time to explore. One of them concerned the mood of karumi, which has been a chief interest of mine over the years, particularly in relation to my own haiku. You asked for my understanding of it and I couldn’t easily come up with an explanation. I think most serious students of haiku have a hard time coming to terms with Basho’s later works. In many respects the poems seem bland and a little bit thin. Basho himself likens karumi to shallow water over a sandy bed, which certainly seems to go against any sense of mystery or depth. However I think the main thing to get from this likeness is the idea of transparency. Nothing’s hidden, or even hideable, in the mood of karumi. Everything’s out there, plainly shown. Everything’s part of the open secret. Continue reading “Karumi – Bob Jones on lightness in haiku”

Jane Reichhold (1937-2016)

Many Australian haiku and tanka poets will be deeply saddened to read of the death of Jane Reichhold, an inspirational and generous scholar, translator, writer and publisher of all Japanese short forms. Jane’s death was reported on AHA, the haiku and other forms forum she founded in 2006. The announcement was made there on August 5th, though it appears she may have died a week ago. Her contribution in this field has been enormous and she will be very greatly missed. There are many Australian haiku and tanka writers whose work she has prompted, encouraged and informed.
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Bindii Japanese Genre Poetry Group Meeting 6 August 2016

Our meeting started at 12.30 pm, in our usual venue of the Box Factory. Lee Bentley led the group for a session on renku, starting with an outline of the history of renku and then talking about some of the principles of renku writing, chiefly link and shift.

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Two tanka events in Canberra in October

Australian poet/ translator/ editor Amelia Fielden is helping to organise two tanka-related events in Canberra across the one weekend in the middle of October. The first will be a launch of the Australian/ Japanese anthology Poems to Wear, to be held at Manning Clark House in Forrest between 7-9 p.m. on Friday, 14 October. The second will be a Tanka Seminar, to be conducted at the Australian National University between 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, 15 October. Any enquiries should please be emailed to Amelia Fielden:

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Entries open Katikati Haiku Contest (NZ)

Entries are welcome for the Katikati Haiku Contest. Submissions must be sent in hard copy, by post, to arrive in hand by October 31. Entries of three (3) haiku cost $5USD each. Poets need to mail two (2) copies of each entry, with only one copy including the entrant’s name and contact details. Address: Katikati Haiku Contest, PO Box 183, Katikati 3166, New Zealand. Payment may be made via PayPal. For full details, please access this website:
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